Cheap canned dog foods like Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy with Beef don't get stellar reviews. At this price, it's a matter of doing as the experts do, scanning labels for the most meat content and the least objectionable grain fillers. Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy with Beef's top ingredient is water, followed by chicken, meat byproducts, wheat flour, beef and liver.
Although the food meets Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards, there are a number of ingredients that raise red flags with pet-food advocates. Even those who say byproducts are acceptable say that they should be named meats, such as chicken or beef. Simply saying meat byproducts is too anonymous and, as some experts note, could include euthanized pets or dying livestock judged to be unfit for human consumption. Onion and garlic also appears in the ingredients list, and Mike Sagman at PetFoodAdvisor.com explains that they have been linked to illness in dogs on rare occasions. Some dogs are allergic to wheat, and many advocates look down on its use as a cheap filler. Gluten is another cheap filler, and contaminated glutens were the subject of the massive pet-food recall of 2007.
The best canned dog foods, such as Newman's Own Organics Organic Beef & Liver (*Est. $2.50 per 12 oz. can) are considerably more expensive, but contain far more meat, avoid low-quality carbohydrates and use all natural ingredients. As an alternative, Nutro Max Adult Beef and Rice (*Est. $1.11 per 12.5 oz. can) is only a little more expensive than Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy with Beef. While it's not a perfect dog food, its ingredient list is notably superior and avoids byproducts and low-quality carbohydrates. Kirkland Cuts in Gravy with Beef and Vegetables (*Est. 67 cents per 13.2 oz. can) is even cheaper than Pedigree and again is of notably better quality, but it's only available to Costco members.
Label-reading forms the basis for most dog-food reviews. Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy with Beef is subject to thorough evaluations at DogFoodAdvisor.com and GoodGuide.com.
Though he evaluates a different variety in the Pedigree Choice Cuts line, Mike Sagman assigns a 2-star rating (the second lowest) to all, including Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy with Beef. He calls the ingredients list "below average" and raises a number of red flags. His bottom-line opinion is that the foods are "not recommended."
Review: Pedigree Choice Cuts (Canned), Mike Sagman, April 23, 2012
GoodGuide.com uses a different methodology than most pet-food reviewers, evaluating on nutritional sufficiency as well as the company's stance on things like the environment and social practices. Ingredients are noted and comments made on which are desirable or not, but that does not appear to effect the score. Wheat, which at best is considered a neutral ingredient, is called desirable here. The 6.5 "scientific rating" places Pedigree Choice Cuts In Gravy with Beef at 139 out of 350 foods evaluated.
Review: Pedigree Choice Cuts In Gravy Food For Dogs with Beef, Contributors to Zootoo.com